Irish Food Production: Growth or Real Sustainability?

Irish Food Production: Growth or Real Sustainability?

Two reports were published in recent weeks outlining very differing views on the future of Food Production in Ireland and internationally. “Sustainable Food Systems” was co-authored by Trócaire and Oxfam, while the Government released “Food Vision 2030“. Both reports can be easily accessed online. Dermot McNally gives us a brief overview of these ambitious documents.

Sustainable Food Systems – co authored by Oxfam and Trócaire.
Policy Makers in Ireland claim that we can become champions of fair and sustainable food systems on the global stage. However a major transformation and investment in Irish agriculture is necessary to create a truly sustainable food system, this Oxfam and Trócaire report found. The report outlines the current state of agri-policy in Ireland and lands some heavy punches on current and future strategy.

Funding Unsustainable Farming Practices
The authors of the report state that at present, 81 per cent of national agricultural funding is directed towards projects that are not truly sustainable – i.e., investments or farming practices with limited to zero environmental impact benefits. This amounts to funding “farming as usual” instead of organic or truly environmentally focused schemes. In some cases, farmers are even penalised for their efforts to support biodiversity. Oxfam and Trócaire remind readers that if we damage the natural resources upon which agriculture relies, then growth and prosperity will be short lived.

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